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About 10 years ago I was enrolled in Culinary School studying baking and pastry.  While I love a good recipe, I’m always trying to come up with my own ideas.  I’m always amazed when people manage to create something incredible from scratch!

Fast forward a few years, my husband and I got married and I started cooking and baking more for family.  Rob’s sister, nephew, and nieces especially enjoyed my baking experiments – successes and failures! LOL!

I was interested in creating something new and decided I was going to enter the Pillsbury Bake-Off!  I spent some time thinking about the kind of dessert I wanted to create and decided on a cupcake – but what flavor????  I love cappuccinos – so I decided to create a cappuccino in a cupcake!  After some trial and error, the final result turned out to be an incredibly moist, flavorful chocolate and coffee cake, with a sweet creamy, white chocolate cinnamon filling, and topped with the perfect amount of coffee flavored buttercream.  While this recipe didn’t win the Pillsbury Bake-Off, it’s still a winner in our family!  Everyone has gone crazy over it.  I made them over and over again for parties, get-togethers, and other family gatherings.  They were gone as soon as they were served!  This crazy concoction ended up being a phenomenal creation and definitely a keeper!!  It’s a bit of work, but totally worth it in the end!!

Chocolate and coffee pair incredibly well together.  There is just something about adding coffee to chocolate cake that greatly enhances the flavor and creating a richer, more decadent chocolate taste.  I use Folgers decaffeinated instant coffee.  I can make it in small batches instead of brewing a whole pot and adding more instant granules that quickly dissolve, makes it a lot easier to make a strong coffee without waste.  Plus I don’t have to worry about anyone being concerned about caffeine.

In case you haven’t read onto the ingredients, this cake is actually made with mayonnaise.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Mayonnaise is basically eggs and oil which is what is used in baking cakes as binders and to keep them moist.  I just replaced the eggs and oil with mayonnaise and the result is a deliciously soft, moist chocolate cake.  Believe me, if you don’t tell anyone there is mayonnaise in the cupcake, they’ll never know!  You don’t taste it at all!

The flavor combination is extraordinary.  I love the slight presence of coffee in the decadent, rich, and moist chocolate cake.  Paired with the creaminess of the white chocolate filling and the aromatic of cinnamon, and then topped off with a coffee buttercream that is sweet without being overly sweet adding the perfect touch of additional coffee to the cupcake.  I hope you’ll give this a try and enjoy it!

Happy Baking!

Cappuccino Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cinnamon Filling and Coffee Buttercream
Yields approx. 16 cupcakes

For the cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled

1.) In a small bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Set aside.
2.)  In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vanilla extract, and coffee.  Mix well.
3.)  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix well using an electric mixer.
4.)  Pour batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake liners.  Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Let cool completely.

For White Chocolate Cinnamon Filling

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (12 oz.) white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1.)  In a double boiler (bowl placed over a small pot with about 1″ of boiling water), melt the white chocolate until smooth.  (Or melt in a microwave using a microwave safe bowl and microwave in short bursts of about 10-15 seconds and stirring each time until smooth.)
2.)  Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk to the chocolate, but do not boil it.  Whisk together.
3)  Add vanilla extract and cinnamon.
4.)  Mix well.  Let cool.

For the Coffee Buttercream

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. strongly brewed coffee

1.)  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or an electric hand mixer), combine shortening and butter until creamed together.
2.)  Add vanilla extract.
3.)  Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating each time before adding the next.
4.)  Add coffee and mix well.

*If buttercream seems too thick, add more coffee, 1 Tbsp. at a time.  If it appears too thin, add small amounts (less than 1/4 cup) of powdered sugar.

Oh, and I did enter the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but didn’t win!  That’s okay – I still have a great recipe loved by family and friends and there’s always next time! 🙂